What Products Help Decrease Mouth Microbes?-experiment help

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What Products Help Decrease Mouth Microbes?-experiment help

Postby mollyh13 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:58 pm

Thanks MelissaB and Sareena for all of the help! I am taking Melissa's advice and I am going to test all three brands of toothpaste, gum, and mouthwash on all three people. Can I use different people for each experiment, or should I use the same three people for all three experiments? Can I use myself as one of the testers? I am not sure who I should use as my testers because I want to make sure my experiment is done correctly and accurately. Any suggestions? When I first started to experiment before I decided to change my experiment, I realized that the pictures of the inside of the mouthes (before and after) using the Agent Cool Blue (plaque-detecting rinse) did not come out very well. You can barely see the blue tint which shows the amount of plaque in the mouth. I am not sure if this is because of the lighting/quality of picture or because of the actual effectiveness of the rinse. Thank You! =]
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Postby MelissaB » Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:35 am

Molly,

If you can, I would suggest using the same three people for all three experiments. That way you hold 'person' constant between the three experiments. Using yourself as one of the people should be fine.

My guess is that the rinse is doing fine but that the pictures aren't very good quality. Can you see any differences by eye in the rinse before and after? If you brush your teeth once a day, can you see differences before and after that? If so, you might consider doing the tests around the time you normally brush your teeth (depending on who your testers are).

If the pictures just aren't good enough, I would suggest trying to assign subjective scores that say something about the amount of blue tint in a person's mouth. For example: 0=no blue at all, 1=some blue around the gumlines on one or two teeth, 2=blue around the gumlines in a thin strip on more than one tooth, 3=blue around the gumlines on all teeth, 4=blue on every tooth extending far below the gumlines, and 5=Teeth covered in blue tint.

Clearly, a subjective score like this is not ideal, and can easily be biased--if you think that mouthwash is going to decrease plaque more than gum, for example, you may tend to score people lower on that scale right after they've used mouthwash. One way to get around this is to have your testers in another room choose which one of the three (or nine) treatments they're going to do and do it out of your sight, then come back in and have you score their mouths. The problem with this is that you may still be able to tell from their breath whether they've chewed Big Red or Doublemint...but it's slightly more objective than it would be if you knew for certain. It also may be worth playing around with the rinse for a few days and trying to see how you would score various results you get before you do any real scoring. You don't want a 1 on the first day to be the equivalent of a 3 after you've done more testing!

I hope all of this helps, and if any of it is confusing just let me know and I'll clarify.
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Postby mollyh13 » Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:47 pm

Thank you, MelissaB! I am going to try to get better results using the Agent Cool Blue (plaque-detecting rinse). I think that my pictures did not have good quality and I think that is my problem. I may try to use a better camera as well. I think it is a good idea to use ratings if my pictures do not come out well, but I my goal is to have the pictures to make my experiment as accurate as possible. I will be testing:
Gum- Big Red, Winterfresh, and Trident
Toothpaste- Crest Pro-Health, Colgate Total, and Aquafresh
Mouthwash- Crest Pro-Health, Scope, and Listerine
I am confused about this:
My guess is that the rinse is doing fine but that the pictures aren't very good quality. Can you see any differences by eye in the rinse before and after? If you brush your teeth once a day, can you see differences before and after that? If so, you might consider doing the tests around the time you normally brush your teeth (depending on who your testers are).

If you could clarify what you meant, that would be great. Thank you again for all the help!
mollyh13
 
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Postby MelissaB » Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:22 pm

Well, what I really wanted to ask in that paragraph was: can you see the blue tint yourself after others (or you) use this rinse? I wanted to know if the photographs were just poor-quality or if you really wouldn't be able to detect a difference.

If it -was- difficult to detect a difference with the naked eye, I suggested maybe doing the tests late in the day or first thing in the morning (just before you brush your teeth) when plaque should be worst because then it might be easier to see the blue color because there would be more of it.

What sort of camera are you using? With many digital cameras you can increase the resolution and thus increase picture quality, though you decrease the number that can be taken before they have to be downloaded.
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Postby mollyh13 » Thu Jan 11, 2007 5:30 pm

Hi Melissa! I understand what you meant in that paragraph now. I think my problem was that I was conducting my experiments sometime after dinner. I think I might be more successful in the early morning or later at night when there is more plaque. Now that I think about it, I did have trouble seeing the blue tint with the naked eye. The lights in which I was taking the photo were a bit bright too. I am using a digital camera, so that should help. Thanks for all the help!
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Postby MelissaB » Thu Jan 11, 2007 5:47 pm

You're welcome! Keep at it, this is a really interesting project and I'd love to hear what the results are.
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Re: What Products Help Decrease Mouth Microbes?-experiment h

Postby LisaBug » Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:32 pm

This paper may be of interest you. Here is a snippet:

"At least 700 bacterial species are now known to inhabit the mouth," said Shi. "The good bacteria are mixed in with the bad ones, and our current treatments simply clear everything away. That can be a problem because we have data to show that the pathogens grow back first. They're extremely competitive, and that's what makes them pathogenic."

To illustrate this point, Shi offered an analogy. "Think of a lawn infested with dandelions," he said. "If you use a general herbicide and kill everything there, the dandelions will come back first. But if you use a dandelion-specific killer and let the grass fill in the lawn, the dandelions won't come back."

See:
http://www.physorg.com/news80832481.html

LisaBug


mollyh13 wrote:Thanks MelissaB and Sareena for all of the help! I am taking Melissa's advice and I am going to test all three brands of toothpaste, gum, and mouthwash on all three people. Can I use different people for each experiment, or should I use the same three people for all three experiments? Can I use myself as one of the testers? I am not sure who I should use as my testers because I want to make sure my experiment is done correctly and accurately. Any suggestions? When I first started to experiment before I decided to change my experiment, I realized that the pictures of the inside of the mouthes (before and after) using the Agent Cool Blue (plaque-detecting rinse) did not come out very well. You can barely see the blue tint which shows the amount of plaque in the mouth. I am not sure if this is because of the lighting/quality of picture or because of the actual effectiveness of the rinse. Thank You! =]
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